Caring for traumatised looked-after children: the costs and gains of caring

Redfern, Jade (2013) Caring for traumatised looked-after children: the costs and gains of caring. D.Clin.Psychol. thesis, Canterbury Christ Church University.

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Research has evidenced variously the impact on those caring for traumatised people, such as wives of distressed police officers, partners of war veterans and trauma counsellors. However, there is a lack of research exploring the impact on foster parents (FPs) caring for traumatised looked-after children (LAC). This study aimed to explore FPs’ experiences of caring for traumatised LAC, including their understanding of the impact the trauma has on the young person and on themselves and their biological family. Eleven FPs were interviewed to elicit their personal experiences of caring for traumatised LAC and its impact on them, the young people and the FPs’ families. Transcripts were analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). Six master-themes emerged from the data: emotional impact on foster parents, cognitive impact on foster parents, impact from the wider fostering system, impact on foster parents’ family and friends, foster parent coping and perceived understanding of the impact of trauma on LAC. These themes were linked to previous research and existing theoretical constructs, such as secondary trauma (ST), vicarious trauma (VT) and compassion satisfaction. Whilst all related experiences within each of the themes, participants differed between which themes dominated. FPs experience a variety of complex negative impacts from caring for traumatised LAC, that warrants further investigation and development of screening tools to measure potential ST/VT symptoms. However, several FPs reported a wealth of positive experiences from their role, which may or may not counteract these symptoms.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Uncontrolled Keywords: looked after children, trauma, foster carers, interpretative phenomenological analysis
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology > BF0511 Affection. Feeling. Emotion > BF0575.S75 Stress (Psychology)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare. Criminology > HV0697 Protection, assistance and relief > HV0701 Children
Divisions: pre Nov-2014 > Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > Applied Psychology
Depositing User: Mrs Kathy Chaney
Date Deposited: 01 Nov 2013 11:31
Last Modified: 28 Mar 2018 04:45

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00